Friday, October 28, 2011

port au prince

3/4 oz Barbancourt 5 Star Rum (Atlantico Reserva)
3/4 oz Amber Virgin Island Rum (Atlantico Platino)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Falernum (Velvet)
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (Jaggery)
6 drop (1/8 tsp) Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. I garnished with a lime shell and a Maraschino cherry. Note that the original recipe was a blender drink with 4 oz of crushed ice.

We were recently sent small samples of the Atlantico rum line -- just enough to do a tasting and make a cocktail. Atlantico rums are produced in the Dominican Republic using a combination of molasses and fresh cane juice, and they just added a white (Platino) and amber (Reserva) rum to their older Private Cask offering. When Andrea and I tasted the spirits straight, here were our thoughts:
Atlantico Platino - aromas of coconut and melon; flavors of vanilla with a sharper clove-like note at the end.
Atlantico Reserva - aromas of pineapple, caramel, slight fusel oil note, and vanilla; flavors of vanilla, tropical fruits, and coconut.
Atlantico Private Cask - aromas of coconut and lime; thinner on the sip than the Reserva with a lot of barrel-aged notes on the swallow.
Of the three, Andrea picked the Platino as her favorite and I leaned towards the Reserva as mine. While the Private Cask has some elegant wood notes, the 15+ years in wood has diminished some of the more intriguing fruit elements seen in the other two expressions. As for price, the Private Cask sells for around $35 a bottle, and I believe that the Reserve and Platino will be $25 and 20, respectively.
Since we are more cocktail people than straight spirits ones, it was time to mix with these rums. In Jeff Berry's Sippin' Safari, I discovered the Port Au Prince that felt like a good complement to the Atlantico Platino and Reserva's tropical fruit and spice notes. Berry attributed the recipe to Don the Beachcomber in the late 1930s; the drink appeared on some of his early menus but disappeared by 1941. While the city of Port au Prince is in Haiti, it is not all that far from the Dominican Republic. The drink itself possessed a lime aroma from the juice and garnish and prepared the taste buds for the sweet lime sip. The swallow showcased the grand combination of the pineapple, rum, and clove-driven spice notes.

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